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Research needs identified for potential effects of energy development activities on environmental resources of the Williston Basin, United States

Unconventional oil and gas development that uses horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is rapidly changing the landscape and exponentially increasing oil production within the Williston Basin, especially in North Dakota and eastern Montana. The activities associated with unconventional oil and gas development are complex and wide reaching and include, in part, road and well-pad construction

Hydrogeologic characteristics of Hourglass and New Years Cave Lakes at Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota, from water-level and water-chemistry data, 2015–21

Jewel Cave National Monument is in the western Black Hills of South Dakota and contains an extensive cave network, including various subterranean water bodies (cave lakes) that are believed to represent the regionally important Madison aquifer. Recent investigations have sought to improve understanding of hydrogeologic characteristics of cave lakes in Jewel Cave. The U.S. Geological Survey, in coo

HydroBench: Jupyter supported reproducible hydrological model benchmarking and diagnostic tool

Evaluating whether hydrological models are right for the right reasons demands reproducible model benchmarking and diagnostics that evaluate not just statistical predictive model performance but also internal processes. Such model benchmarking and diagnostic efforts will benefit from standardized methods and ready-to-use toolkits. Using the Jupyter platform, this work presents HydroBench, a model-

Potential effects of energy development on environmental resources of the Williston Basin in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota—Physiography, climate, land use, and demographics

The Williston Basin has been a leading domestic oil and gas producing region. As energy demands have increased, so has energy development. A group of 13 Federal agencies and Tribal groups formed the Bakken Federal Executive Group to address common challenges associated with energy development, with a focus on understanding the cumulative environmental challenges attributed to oil and gas developme

Potential effects of energy development on environmental resources of the Williston Basin in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota

About this volumeThe Williston Basin, which includes parts of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota in the United States, has been a leading domestic oil and gas producing area. To better understand the potential effects of energy development on environmental resources in the Williston Basin, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, and in support of the nee

Water-quality data and trends in the Rapid Creek Basin, South Dakota, 1970–2020

Surface-water-quality data in the Rapid Creek Basin in South Dakota were compiled to assess basic trends in the water quality of Rapid Creek. Spatial and temporal patterns in water quality were described for major ions, sediment, total suspended solids, nutrients, field measurements, bacteria, and select metals for the period of 1970–2020, and a water-quality trend analysis was completed for sites

Projecting flood frequency curves under near-term climate change

Flood-frequency curves, critical for water infrastructure design, are typically developed based on a stationary climate assumption. However, climate changes are expected to violate this assumption. Here, we propose a new, climate-informed methodology for estimating flood-frequency curves under non-stationary future climate conditions. The methodology develops an asynchronous, semiparametric local-

Assessment of streamflow trends in the eastern Dakotas, water years 1960–2019

Hydrologic extremes, whether periods of drought or flooding, are occurring more frequently with greater severity and can have substantial economic impacts. Along with flooding, the timing and volume of streamflow also is changing across the United States. The focus of this report is to characterize a unique trend in mean annual streamflow occurring in eastern North and South Dakota, hereafter refe

Evaluation of salinity and nutrient conditions in the Heart River Basin, North Dakota, 1970–2020

The Heart River Basin is predominantly an agricultural basin in western North Dakota and is approximately 3,350 square miles. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Grant County Soil Conservation District, completed a study to assess spatial and temporal patterns of water quality in the Heart River Basin. Th

Virtual training prepared for the former Afghanistan Ministry of Energy and Water—Streamgaging, fluvial sediment sampling, bathymetry, and streamflow and sediment modeling

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) created a virtual training series for the Afghanistan Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), now known as the National Water Affairs Regulation Authority (NWARA), to provide critical hydrological training as an alternative to an in-person training. The USGS was scheduled to provide in-person surface-water training for NWARA during 2020; however, travel was halted bec

Measurements of streamflow gain and loss on the Souris River between Lake Darling and Verendrye, North Dakota, August 31 and September 1, 2021

Dry conditions during 2020 and 2021 affected the water supply within the Souris River Basin and highlighted the need for better understanding of the streamflow dynamics for managing the resource during low-flow conditions. In June 2021, a loss of streamflow was observed on the Souris River between U.S. Geological Survey streamgages on the Souris River near Foxholm, North Dakota (site 1), and near

Historical and paleoflood analyses for probabilistic flood-hazard assessments—Approaches and review guidelines

Paleoflood studies are an effective means of providing specific information on the recurrence and magnitude of rare and large floods. Such information can be combined with systematic flood measurements to better assess the frequency of large floods. Paleoflood data also provide valuable information about the linkages among climate, land use, flood-hazard assessments, and channel morphology. This d